Suffolk's Alexander Albon gets Red Bull promotion

BREAKING Albon to replace Gasly from Spa

OFFICIAL: Thai driver Alex Albon joins Red Bull as Max Verstappen’s teammate with immediate effect

F1 rookie Alex Albon says the news of his unexpected mid-season switch to Red Bull Racing is "surreal" and a "massive opportunity".

The 23-year-old British-Thai racer will have nine races to make his case and convince Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko that he can be worthy teammate to Max Verstappen for 2020.

Albon - who was signed up to the Red Bull Junior Team in 2012 - has accrued 16 points in his maiden season in the championship with a best-placed sixth in the German Grand Prix.

"We're excited to see Alex get the opportunity, and we're happy to be working with Pierre Gasly again", Toro Rosso tweeted. In the same press conference, Horner conceded that Gasly's performances had left Red Bull "one-legged" in too many races this year and that it needed its second driver to score more points in order to challenge Ferrari for second place in the constructors' championship.

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What this means is that current Red Bull driver Pierre Gasly has been moved to Toro Rosso, which is a sister team of Red Bull, where he will partner Daniil Kvyat.

With Gasly's struggles, it begs the question, where could Red Bull be if they had kept Daniel Ricciardo?

Gasly has managed just 63 driver points so far in 2019 with no podium finishes compared to Verstappen's five. Since then, he has enjoyed four other runs in the points, including an impressive fourth place at Hockenheim.

Red Bull, which had claimed Gasly's seat was secure until the end of the season, will now promote Albon alongside Verstappen, with the Anglo-Thai racer having surpassed expectations in his own debut campaign with Toro Rosso in 2019.

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Albon's first drive for Red Bull will be the Belgian Grand Prix on September 1.

"We desperately need him realising more of the potential of the vehicle". Gasly, the 2016 GP2 (now F2) victor, has earned only 63 points and been lapped twice by the Dutchman.

While Albon has certainly had a few moments to forget this season, his ability to hang tough has won him plenty of fans.

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